Louise Bourgeois | Haus der Kunst

Structures of Existence: The Cells

27 February 2015  –  02 August 2015
Haus der Kunst

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In an artistic career spanning seven decades, Louise Bourgeois (1911, Paris – 2010, New York) created a unique body of work in a wide range
of form, material and scale. In the 1940s, she pioneered the use of
environmental installation for her work, and in the 1970s and 80s she
would at times bring her sculpture into dialogue with theater and
performance. Further, her work helped shift critical discourse to
encompass psychoanalysis and feminism, theories that have since become
prevalent in the artistic language of contemporary art today.

Among the most innovative and challenging sculptural works in her
extensive oeuvre are the “Cells”, a series of architectural spaces that
preoccupied her for nearly 20 years. Bourgeois’s “Cells” are intensely
psychological microcosms: situated within various enclosures, each is a
multi-faceted collection of objects and sculptural forms arranged to
evoke an atmosphere of emotional resonance. In almost theatrical scenes,
these everyday objects, items of clothing or fabric, or furniture,
along with singular sculptures by Bourgeois, create a charged barrier
between the interior world of the artist and the exterior world that is
the exhibition space.

As Bourgeois stated: “The ‘Cells’ represent different types of pain:
the physical, the emotional and psychological, and the mental and
intellectual. When does the emotional become physical? When does the
physical become emotional? It’s a circle going round and round. …Each
‘Cell’ deals with the pleasure of the voyeur, the thrill of looking and
being looked at. The ‘Cells’ either attract or repulse each other. There
is this urge to integrate, merge, or disintegrate.” (Louise Bourgeois,
1991)

In this exhibition, the first to concentrate on the “Cells” series,
Haus der Kunst will assemble the largest number of “Cells” presented to
date. It will also include important works from previous decades that
led to the development of this body of work. This comprehensive survey
will bring to light key facets of Bourgeois’s thinking about space and
memory, the body and architecture, and the conscious and the
unconscious.

( http://www.hausderkunst.de/en/exhibitions/detail/louise-bourgeois-structures-of-existence-the-cells/ )

Karla Black | Irish Museum of Modern Art |

30 April – 26 July 2015

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Ireland

Karla Black is regarded as one of the pioneering contemporary artists of her generation. A Turner Prize nominee in 2011, she practices a kind of
lyrical autonomous sculpture, influenced by psychoanalysis, feminism and
its impact on visual art. Black’s work draws from a multiplicity of
artistic traditions from expressionist painting, land art, performance,
to formalism.  Black questions the rigours of sculptural form and her
large-scale sculptures incorporate modest everyday substances, along
with very traditional art-making materials to create abstract
formations.

The site-specific exhibition at IMMA will present
Karla Black’s extraordinary creative output, revealing the artist’s
constant challenges to prevailing concepts of sculpture. Her interest in
process has led her to expand the possibilities of whichever material
she employs; from plaster, polythene, chalk dust and powder to
eye-shadow, nail varnish, fake tan or toothpaste. Black chooses her
media for their tactile aesthetic appeal: the familiarity of the texture
of cellophane or the scent of cosmetics bridges the experience of
tangible matter with the intimacy of memory of the subconscious. Black’s
working process is intensely physical and this energy is conveyed
through works that emphasise her free, experimental working method,
combined with the editing, muting and reigning in of careful aesthetic
judgement. Each element in her assemblages  interconnects physical,
psychological, and theoretical stimuli which are both self-referential
and relate to art as a wider-world experience.

Experimenting with
ways to float material, form and colour at eye level remains a constant
preoccupation in Black’s work, and this preoccupation remains as a
thread in the exhibition at IMMA, which will present Black’s
extraordinary creative output through a series of new works tailored for
the spaces at IMMA.

Karla Black has stated in relation to her
forthcoming exhibition at IMMA ‘I am preoccupied with trying to find
ways to float material, form and colour at eye level. Over the years, I
have discovered makeshift sculptural solutions that allow this to
happen, while actively avoiding the obvious traditional tropes –
painting a canvas and putting it on a wall, placing an object on a
plinth or shelf etc. This preoccupation remains as I develop
experimentation for the IMMA show’.

Black has said previously of
her work: ‘While there are ideas about psychological and emotional
developmental processes held within the sculptures I make, the things
themselves are actual physical explorations into thinking, feeling,
communicating and relating’.

 

( http://www.imma.ie/en/page_236940.htm )

History Is Now: 7 Artists Take On Britain

Hayward Gallery, London

10 February –  26 April 2015

History Is Now: 7 Artists Take On Britain explores 70 years of cultural and social history. Filtering collective history through their individual perspectives, seven British artists of different generations and backgrounds – John Akomfrah, Simon Fujiwara, Roger Hiorns, Hannah Starkey, Richard Wentworth and Jane and Louise Wilson – each curate distinct sections of the exhibition and provide their unique ‘take’ on recent British history.

The six sections of History Is Now cover topics as varied as the Cold War, post-Thatcherite society, feminism, protest movements, ‘mad cow disease’ and celebrity culture through a diverse set of artworks and objects ranging from a Bloodhound Surface-to-Air missile to a half-tonne piece of coal. In their content, approach and design each of these artist-curated sections push at the limits of conventional exhibition-making. Set against the political backdrop of the upcoming General Election in May History Is Now provides us with a new way of looking at our past, as well as a platform for considering the future.

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Image credits

Eduardo Paolozzi, Take-off, 1972 (from original Bunk collages 1947-52) © Trustees of the Paolozzi Foundation. Licensed by DACS 2015

Minister of Agriculture John Gummer, 1990. Photo: Jim James/Press Association Images

Sam Taylor-Johnson, David Beckham (‘David’), 2004 © the artist. Courtesy the artist and White Cube, London

Consolata Boyle, costume designed for Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady, 2011. Photo by Roger Wooldridge.

( http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/festivals-series/history-is-now )